pollinators

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Number one and still champion: Southern Oregon University tops the list of Bee Campuses across the country.  Which makes sense, because SOU was the first school so identified, adopting the methods of the Bee City USA program. 

The Sierra Club recently put out its list of pollinator-friendly campuses, and there was SOU, atop the list again.  Several departments and many people contributed to the effort. 

dMz/Pixabay

Butterflies and bees are skilled in finding their way from plant to plant.  People need a little help. 

So that's why the Rogue Buzzway Project came into being... now people who want to track the progress of pollinators can find pollinator hangouts. 

A GIS (Geographic Information System) class at Southern Oregon University has been instrumental in making a map showing pollinator pathways. 

US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Lots of people are pulling for monarch butterflies to make a comeback.  But the numbers from the Thanksgiving count of last fall show a continued decline in monarch numbers in California. 

And that's despite the counters making it to more locations. 

The Thanksgiving count is now in its third decade, and the overall trend has been consistently downward... even though more and more people are creating monarch-friendly gardens and waystations. 

Emma Pelton leads the monarch program at the Portland-based Xerces Society

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Maybe you enjoy gardening.  But is your garden CERTIFIED? 

Certification is offered for gardens friendly to bees and other pollinators. 

And the City of Talent is putting out some money to challenge local residents to create certified pollinator gardens. 

The Talent Garden Club is taking on much of the work. 

Wikimedia

When you think about butterflies, there's a good chance that what you envision will be a monarch. 

They are the rock stars of the butterly world, but also as troubled as a rock star facing legal issues. 

Efforts to help the monarch come back from very low population numbers abound. 

They include a symposium coming to Southern Oregon University next week, with help from Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

Exploring WHY Neonicotinoids Are Harmful

Feb 3, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Reading a pesticide label is a bit like plunging headlong into a foreign language, one with a fast-changing vocabulary. For example: neonicotinoids.

They're a relatively new class of pesticides, favored now because they cause less toxicity in birds and mammals than insects. But that's not good news for pollinators.

Two pesticide experts join us to translate what neonic pesticides mean for the insects who actually help plants grow.  Aimée Code is Pesticide Program Director for The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Dr. Susan Kegley heads up the Pesticide Research Institute.

Merging Bees, Activism, And Art

Aug 18, 2016
Ashland Honey Festival

The Oregon Honey Festival aims to make itself sweet and sticky to a variety of tastes.  Presenters range from bee scientists to honey sellers to artists. 

And it's in that last category you'll find Meesha Goldberg of Eugene.  One of her projects is a combination of performance art and ritual and activism called "Equilibrium Rites;" Goldberg and companions mirrored the annual pollination of California almond groves. 

Works of art from the project are on display at a gallery in Los Angeles for another week. 

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Way Down

Aug 12, 2016
Wikimedia

The plight of bees in recent years produced a swelling of concern about pollinators. 

Bees are not the only pollinators, and the others have problems, too. 

Take the monarch butterfly, for example.  A report published last month by the Xerces Society in Portland shows a huge drop in monarchs gathering at winter sites in California, down 74% in two decades. 

Celebrating Earth Day With Pollinator Art

Apr 18, 2016
cybermuse.com

Bees just can't seem to stay out of the news lately, but for generally good reasons at the moment. 

The importance of bees and other pollinators to our food supply and planet is recognized frequently of late. 

Shoshanah Dubiner likes and respects bees, and makes artwork about them. 

Her bee-inspired artwork includes a piece to be unveiled at an Earth Day celebration on Friday at Southern Oregon University. 

What To Do Instead Of Use Pesticides

Apr 14, 2016
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You can start a pretty heated discussion just by using the term "pesticides" in a small gathering. 

People do not like the side effects of pesticides, but see the need for SOMETHING to keep weeds and insects from crowding out important crops. 

The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, NCAP, does what its name implies: look for non-pesticide solutions to pests. 

NCAP is one of several organizations taking part in "Pesticides, People, Pollinators, and the Planet," Saturday April 16 at Southern Oregon University. 

Making Rest Stops For Butterflies

Sep 24, 2015
Wikimedia

We're so excited about bees of late, that three cities in the Rogue Valley have received "Bee City" designations.  Can the butterflies get a little love here?

Indeed they can, and do, from the people of Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

These friends of the monarch butterfly are in the process of creating "monarch waystations," places where a weary monarch might like to stop for a rest and a meal. 

Crews Prepare To "BioBlitz" The Siskiyous

May 28, 2015
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You often hear numbers cited by wildlife officials, and may wonder where they get the numbers. 

Taking animal population counts can be tricky; it's not like they send back census surveys. 

BioBlitz is one way of getting things done. 

It's a crash butterfly population count in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument coming June 6th.

Feds Resolve To Help Pollinators

May 28, 2015
pdphoto.org

The massive bee die-off in the Portland area two years ago thrust the Xerces Society and pollinators into the spotlight. 

Xerces wants protections for bees and other pollinators, and the White House is on board. 

Just last week the Administration announced a national strategy to save troubled pollinator species. 

A Week To Celebrate Pollinators

Jun 18, 2014

How much of what we take for granted in the plant world would disappear without pollinators? 

We probably don't want to find out. 

Problems with bee colony die-offs in recent years pointed out the many things bees and other pollinators make possible. 

Those accomplishments are celebrated during Pollinator Week this week.